What Is Crystallized Honey?
Honey sometimes takes on a semi-solid state known as crystallized or granulated honey. This natural phenomenon happens when glucose, one of three main sugars in honey, spontaneously precipitates out of the supersaturated honey solution. The glucose loses water (becoming glucose monohydrate) and takes the form of a crystal (a solid body with a precise and orderly structure). 1 The crystals form a lattice which immobilizes other components of honey in a suspension thus creating the semi-solid state. 2
The water that was previously associated with the glucose becomes available for other purposes, thus increasing the moisture content in some parts of the container of honey. Because of the increased moisture, the honey becomes more susceptible to fermentation.
While crystallization is usually undesirable in liquid honey, controlled crystallization can be used to make a desirable product. Crystallization can be deliberately induced, and with control, can be used to create a product known as cremed honey. This is also known as creamed honey, spun honey, whipped honey, churned honey or honey fondant. Spontaneous crystallization results in a coarse and grainy product. Controlled crystallization results in a product with a smooth, spreadable consistency.